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Artist’s Life: Love In Wellington

Art retreat with Cassandra Gaisford

In between writing self-empowerment books and love stories (as Mollie Mathews), I love to paint…which explains, in part, why so many of my stories have art-related themes. My new release, Love In Venice is a great example, and I’ve been super happy with the lovely reviews, which confirm people love sensuous love stories against a backdrop of art and architecture. Lynn just posted this lovely review.

Lynn Review Love in Venice

It was bittersweet being back in my home town Wellington, New Zealand, for the New Zealand Romance Writer’s Conference and to see so many of my writing friends. I also taught my painting techniques during my Wellington Art Retreat. It was held in the beautiful Home of Compassion which, as it turned out, was just the best, most perfect setting. The weather was wild, windy and lashing with rain, but inside, our hearts were singing and shining, and we didn’t notice the storm that raged.

We loved every moment🌸🙏❤️🖼 Such a gorgeous and sacred space to hold a retreat.

We loved using the Art of Life Inspiration Deck to guide the creative journey which was as much about what things we are letting go of and which we are setting intentions about and creating those on our canvases. Fantastic new intention energy under the Lions gate portal.

In its simplest form, ‘Retreat‘, means ‘to withdraw, to drawback.’ We just loved doing just that. The silence and serenity of this very special place was incredible. And of course, creating art (and writing) is very meditative and for me, a very spiritual practice and source of strength. Having just finished writing Love In Venice itn was lovely to retreat from writing and engage in a different form of creativity and share the beauty of creating art with others.

carol testimonial wellington art retreat

A retreat is a special time where we can take time to connect with each other, contemplate and renew our purpose and motives, and work on one or more specific goals—in this case, painting and connecting with our deepest self. People often mistake any group planning or training meeting for a retreat. It’s completely different and much more special and sacred—and silent, too.

Grounds, Home of Compassion, Island Bay New Zealand
Grounds, Home of Compassion, Island Bay New Zealand

Carol, playing with paint

Wellington is also the setting for one of my popular stories from the Sassy Short Stories collection, Twist of Fate. Click this link to GRAB A FREE COPY. It’s a funny, laugh-out-loud story—and don’t we need that right now!

Twist of Fate a romance novel by Mollie Mathews

Carol created a really special piece, inspired in part by the cards we drew during the day from The Art of Life Inspiration Deck, vibrant memories of people she had lost through tragic circumstances, and her desire to welcome new love in her life. I love that she said one of the best things about the retreat when I sent her the post-retreat questionnaire:

What was your favourite exercise we did together or tool that you used?

When you left (please don’t take offence) for 30 minutes and told me to paint with energy and passion. I nearly completed the painting in that time, I painted intuitively, joyously. I loved going to the art gallery with you and seeing the worlddifferently – but then it was great to integrate what I learned.

What do you feel your greatest accomplishment was that came out of our retreatexperience together?

Learning , observing art, composition, colour value, colour mixing. And then how to find the concept behind the painting, and using emotion and energy to put that concept on the canvas. I can see Sassy Susan’s strength is love and intimacy.


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Have a great week, full of fun moments and happy days,

love, Cassandra (and Mollie)

Posted in: Blog

Artist’s Life: Love In Wellington

The Joyful Artist

I am an artist, storyteller, intuitive guide, mentor and Reiki master. All my creations are infused with positive energy , inspiration, and light. I believe in magic and the power of beauty, joy, love, purpose, and creativity to transform your life. My greatest joy is helping your realize your dreams. That makes my soul sing!

P: +64 (0) 21 873 833
E: hello@thejoyfulartist.co.nz


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